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Not by my hand! 

Enter great doubt, as I sit in my first ever Sumi-e class, cost 45 dollars. Michael Hofmann, the artist who painted our Tea house Fusuma (rice paper doors), taught the class. 

As I learned how to paint each leaf, I started calculating: Each day, about 40 cents of income. Each stroke, about 5 cents (a 3 hour class for 45 dollars), max earning potential as a Zen priest in 6 to 9 years, maybe 600 a month, past earning potential about 50,000 a year, and the cost of a baby someday? I have no idea. 

This is what I call "Money-Meditation." It's about as much fun as "How-many-hours-of-sleep-did-I-get-last-night?-meditation" or the "Am-I-actually-loosing-my-teeth?-meditation."

I only know one answer to great doubt: Do nothing, drink boiled water, and sit Zazen. This demi-god of Mara is like the T-Rex- the more you move, the more it will chase you. 

Only took 6-months: Noted, thank you very much. 

So, I have great doubt about my path a Zen priest, and I avow to do absolutely nothing about it and follow the way right before me, which is wake up, sit, work, eat, work, sit, study, relax, relax, relax into every moment. 

Crazy huh? But I've been here before. You wouldn't have to dig to deep into this blog to see that. 

Dragons and elephants, bring me your illusions! 


  1. Sometimes, doing nothing is the hardest thing. We humans have a tendency to want to "do" something - anything - when something we don't like comes up.

  2. I laughed out loud at "Am-I-actually-loosing-my-teeth?" meditations...

    Rock on. a rock?

  3. Bamboo is amazing! Have you ever tried to cut it? If it is more than 1/4 inch thick you need a saw! And as Carolyn said in her dharma talk, something about putting your self in a bamboo tube of practice. I can't remember what it meant but I liked the image. As you just follow the path right in front of you I'll be doing the same thing on my own path, right next to yours.

  4. Here we are. Today, one last bad event led me to decide to leave my church (of 30 years). This is all internal; just a click in me. My feet feel very firm, the ground feels good. I feel ready for this - and hadn't consciously contemplated it for years. (If you're curious, you can read about it on my blog, Tina's memorial service.) Sit down. Stand up. Walk. Maybe sometime it'll be Walk Out. You'll know.


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